How We Roll, May 17: anything happening at Metro this week?

Things to read whilst transiting: is there a train filled with gold buried beneath the mountains of Poland? Read this article in the New Yorker about this Indiana Jones-ish story that involves World War II. You can guess the bad guys.

Hey Beyonce: The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena.

Art of Transit: 

The Expo Line is finally coming to the Westside but limited parking raises concerns (LAT)

I can’t wait until 2023 when the Purple Line Extension’s first section opens and the headline is “The Purple Line subway extension is finally coming to the Westside and there’s no parking.” Consider this a prequel to that.

This is a good LAT story looking at the fact that only three of the seven new Expo stations opening Friday have parking — a combined 544 spaces. In effect, that means that some folks are either going to: A) walk; B) find a ride; C) dust off that bike, or; D) step on a bus for the first time in forever.

Related: monthly parking permits for Expo went on sale Sunday. Details here.

Koretz motion pushes mobility plan mods to Planning Commission (Streetsblog LA)

This is really about the fate of the bike lanes proposed for Westwood Boulevard, which the local member of the L.A. City Council (Paul Koretz) does not want, saying they’ll screw up traffic. Westwood Boulevard is important because soon it will have an Expo Line station (at Westwood and Exposition) and eventually a Purple Line station (at Westwood and Wilshire).

That means an already-important street will become even importanter, so to speak.

A preview of improved Metro student pass upgrade (Streetsblog LA)

We’ll have more on this soon, but good coverage in SBLA that explains that Metro is trying to make it less cumbersome for college students to get student TAP cards while also expanding eligibility.

How L.A. can improve its return on multi-billion dollar transit investment (LAT)

In this op-ed, two USC profs argue that Metro should be more like the public-private transit agency in Hong Kong, meaning they want Metro to be able to purchase and develop real estate. Why? Because the value of property near transit usually rises.

Profits, they say, can be pumped back into the transit system or parts of the transit system where little development has taken place (i.e., much of the Blue Line).

Interesting idea and one that has been repeated often in the comments section of this blog. Metro does do some development on parcels left over from construction but I remain skeptical that the powers-that-be in Sacramento and elsewhere would like to see the agency jump into the world of real estate in the way the op-ed describes.

Why? More power for transit agencies = less power for them. It’s Social Studies 101, people!

Take a food tour with Jonathan Gold (LAT)

The CBS News reporter takes a spin on the 30 Bus (which travels from WeHo to East L.A. through DTLA) with the Times’ restaurant critic. Not sure about that 600 bus.

Nonetheless, a nice reminder that getting out of the car and going to some different neighborhoods is a great way to experience your city and region. Which is why the Southeast Cities CicLAvia yesterday was great — it got some booties from north of the 10 to south of the 10.

I loved Uber as a passenger. And then I started driving. (LAT)

A former Uber driver points to the tension point in ride sharing services: it might be cheap for riders but it can be pricey for drivers, raising questions about how long it will remain cheap for riders.




6 replies

  1. Currently there is only one bus assigned to the MTA 220 Line which runs on Robertson between the Beverly Center and Venice Bl. This line at one time started at Santa Monica and San Vicente and ran to LAX and Marina del Rey.

    • The old 220 was very circuitous routing. It would be great if one of the buses serving the “near westside” (La Cienega, Fairfax, or La Brea) could be extended to LAX.

  2. I can understand the parking being an issue for a really suburban area like the northern SGV. Until the area becomes slightly denser (enough to support transit with daily headways of 20 minutes or better), parking structures will be a fact of life for the area for some time. I have less sympathy for the Westside however. Yes, bus service could be made more reliable with dedicated lanes and more frequency for particular corridors (esp. Robertson) but there is more service overall and the density is arguably already there.

  3. What?? Metro only serve 14,000 full-time college students? Metro needs to solve the college student pass problems quickly in order to meet uts self-imposing deadline to implement mandatory all-door boarding for the Sliver Line the 744.

    Take Cal State L.A. as an example, Will Metro expand the Concept “Any Line Any Time” to work with Foothill Transit, Monterey Park Spirit, Metrolink and Alhambra Bus in order to make the all-door Silver Line boarding feasible. It looks like Metro has no strategy to merge the Silver Line all-doors boarding and the Student Pass Program at the same time. This will be an excellent test for Metro this August.

  4. The article about parking along the Expo line references the public paid garages in downtown Santa Monica, but doesn’t point out that they’re a good deal more expensive than the Metro lots – $14/day maximum, or $120 monthly for a weekday permit. Currently the Civic Center lot is cheaper, but they’re raising rates to match the other garages to prevent Expo riders from filling it up:

    Take the bus to the train, basically. Now if only the BBB would put back those bus stop benches…

  5. The Op Ed in the Times is really good in my opinion. It makes me wonder if Metro has to pay rent at the Customer Center at Wilshire/Vermont. It really would be a shame if they did.